I don’t believe in a pure breed, I don’t believe in a pure vine. All of our vines are crossbreeds: Chardonnay is a Crossbreed, Cabernet Sauvignon is a crossbreed, Sangiovese is a crossbreed. Therefore, I want to be a crossbred like all these grape varieties.
In Episode 286 of the Italian Wine Podcast, Hugh Preece of Salt Creek Grille in New Jersey, USA asked some questions about Professor Attilio Scienza. Listen to the professor’s answers in the original Italian recording of Everybody Needs a Bit of Scienza.
Yet again Tiziana Forni of Dark Star Imports in New York steps up to translate Scienza’s words so that the English speaking world can appreciate his knowledge and humor. Besides being an exceptional Italian Wine Ambassador, Tiziana’s use of emojis is unparalleled and she accurately captures what it is like to be trapped in a podcast booth with Stevie Kim and Professor Attilio Scienza!
Stevie: Hi Guys! Welcome to ‘Everybody Needs A Bit Of Scienza.’ You know ‘Scienza’ in Italian means science and it's really his name, believe it or not. It’s Attilio Scienza, Il Professore, as we call him. We just would like to say hello to Monty.
Scienza: Good morning, Hugh.
Stevie: No, no 😂😂 Monty! Say hello to Monty.
Scienza: Ha, Monty!
Stevie: Yes, we have to greet him every time!
Scienza: 😮😮 Every time? I didn’t know! 😇😇
Stevie: I know! You are not a big fan of him, but you have to say hello to him!
Scienza: I thought one time was enough 😉😉😂. Good morning, Monty!
Scienza: Monty, life is difficult here with Stevie😉, it is much better when you are here than when Stevie is here. She is a kind of gossip….😎
Stevie: What are you talking about? 😱
Stevie: we are here to have fun!🎉🎉🎉
Stevie: So we are here. I am Stevie Kim, as you have heard from Attilio. We call him the ‘Flysch Man’. And we have another question from Vinitaly International Academy, this time from America, from Hugh L. Preece of Salt Creek Grille in New Jersey. He is one of our biggest fans. He also likes to lift everybody up when he gets excited. So try not to get him excited too much. His question is, actually, he has five questions. I will read them all to you, Attilio.
1. Why did you become a scientist?
2. What has been your important surprising finding.
3. What excites you about your work, gets you up in the morning?
4. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
5. If you were a grape variety, what would you be and why?
Now, I’ll translate into Italian, because you do not understand! 😊
Scienza: No, no, you don’t need to.
Stevie: Ok, ok but I have to say it also in Italian. Wait a moment!!!
Stevie (translating into Italian): Wow, a lot of stuff here. Try to be succinct 🙏 and don’t be a storyteller, as usual.b 😂
Scienza: 😱 This looks like an interrogation from a psychoanalyst! 😉😂
Stevie: Nooooo! What are you saying?
Scienza: First of all, ‘scientist’ doesn’t fit to me. Einstein was a scientist.
Stevie: you are a little like him… Have you looked in the mirror?
Scienza: Yep, but I consider myself more a ‘researcher’ than a ‘scientist.’
Stevie: ok, right.
Scienza: I love my job, I see it as a game and this is very important. Nature is the focus of my job and the genetic research is the most interesting part. Genetics encouraged me more than anything else: from wild vines, still a remarkable heritage, to the study of new rootstocks, the study of the DNA varieties aiming to trace the origins of vines, as well as their routes to get to us.
It is also very interesting the relationships between wine, vines and people that is the anthropology of viticulture and winemaking and the relation with myth. We forgot the myth in our positivist culture, but in the past, the myth was the connection between winemaking and winegrowing culture.
What do I like to do outside of my work? This a quite difficult question, also because….
Stevie: All you do is work!
Scienza: I spend most of my time working, but I have some interests. For example, I grow a vegetable garden, I raise chickens, I prune the vines in the estate of...
Stevie: What do you do with the chickens?
Scienza: I eat their eggs.
Stevie: Ha, you don’t kill them!!
Scienza: no, no
Stevie: I can picture you. We can make a ‘fumetto’ (Italian for comic) which shows you killing the chickens.
Scienza: No, noooo. My chickens die a natural death.
Then, I prune the vines of my son, and I like to grow many varieties of ancient apples or pears. I have a passion for ancient fruits. Therefore, when I see an empty corner in the estate of my son, I grow a plant. And then, I also take a lot of pictures, I really love it.
Stevie: let’s go to the last question.
Scienza: Which variety would I like to be? Well, this is a quite particular question! I would like to be a crossbreed, I would like to be the son resulting from crossing many vines coming from the farthest places, from Caucasus, Spain, Italy, a crossbreed resistant to diseases: a synthesis of everything you can find in the world. I don’t believe in a pure breed, I don’t believe in a pure vine. All of our vines are crossbreeds: chardonnay is a crossbreed, cabernet sauvignon is a crossbreed, sangiovese is a crossbreed. Therefore, I want to be a crossbred like all these grape varieties.
Stevie: ok very good. I do not know what this is going to be a little bit like Itanglish. Jacob has to figure it out!!!